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    Posted March 4, 2013 by
    Smoyer
    Location
    Moscow, Idaho

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    Down syndrome: There's nothing down about it!

     
    In early January, Sabrina Moyer decided to launch a face book page dedicated to her son Colton Ryder, who had been diagnosed with Down syndrome soon after his birth in September. The goal was to update family and friends about the growth and development of her son.

    However, what started out as a personal website quickly turned into a vibrant journey of advocacy attracting thousands of fans nationwide. Hence the birth of Special Miracles – individuals genetically enhanced with the 21st chromosome.

    “When my son’s diagnosis was confirmed, I was devastated. I had no knowledge about Down syndrome. What came to my mind was the stereotypical image: Thick neck, protruding tongue, large staring eyes, mental retardation, and a multitude of health problems. Fear took over and my heart ached” Sabrina recalls, “I then decided to read and learn as much as I could about it and found out was that it was the total opposite of what I had envisioned”, she added.

    “I came to the realization that it was not a tragic event, it was a blessing and a life changing experience, but I was also very saddened to learn that the termination rates of a pregnancy due to a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome were way over 80%, mainly due to the overwhelming fear and misconceptions surrounding Down syndrome.” Moyer stated “I decided that I needed to promote awareness and tell the world my story. It was my goal. However, I had no idea that in less than two months, Colton’s inspired website would attract close to ten thousand fans.”

    Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal anomally occurring about once in about every 733 births. Individuals, who are born with Down syndrome, have an extra copy of the 21st chromosome (Trisomy 21), thus, they have 47 chromosomes rather than 46. All the other chromosomes are the same as any other typically developing person, which is why they are more alike than different. The one extra chromosome however, is what creates great diversity regarding intellect, personal ability, creativity, talent and learning styles.

    Sabrina Moyer, founder of Special Miracles also stated that, “Soon after the launch of Special Miracles, emails began pouring in. Parents from all over the country were eagerly sharing stories and pictures of their own Special Miracle. In fact, one of the little Special Miracles that was featured and shared through our Face book page went viral and received close to ninety thousand likes in one week.”

    The goal of Special Miracles is to advocate and create awareness about Down syndrome, to offer support to parents who are new to the Down syndrome diagnosis, to share the wonderful things our loved ones with Down syndrome are doing and to advocate on behalf of those who cannot advocate for themselves; those who are diagnosed prenatally. Education is a must in order to eradicate the fear that any new or expectant parent and family has about Down syndrome. Every life is precious.

    “Every child is gifted. They just unwrap their packages at different times.” - unknown
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